Video: Forget bulls, Spaniards wrestle horses for fun too

As published on

Hundreds of wild horses have been forced into hair-cuts this weekend in the Spanish village of Sabucedo, where locals have herded the animals from the mountains to fight them at a controversial festival called “Rapa das Bestas” (Cropping of the Beasts).

The traditional event dates back centuries and happens every year from Saturday to Monday in the first week of July in the Galician village in northwestern Spain.

Wild horses are herded from the mountains into the village, where they are rounded up and wrestled to the ground. The tradition is seen by locals as a test of strength and will.

The fighters (both men and women) work in teams of three to force the animals into submission, and then trim their manes and tails.

This tradition promotes body to body fighting, without a leash – man against horse, in a noble way. Of course there is no intention of mistreating, it’s just power against power, to see what happens,” Michel Tourino, a participant in the event, told Ruptly video news agency.

While hundreds of visitors gather in the village to watch and cheer the wild animals being overpowered, such treatment of horses is considered animal abuse by a number of organizations, including PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals). In some US states, horse wrestling is legally classified as animal cruelty and punishable by a prison sentence.


  1. some cultures still relish the horse. here they are testing lasers in the clouds and the With the image of a horse and rider, they chose not to put images of commercial items. they said in the article we have a relationship to the clouds, the sense of looking up and dreaming, the project is rooted in those hopes and dreams. and those hopes and dreams to them was obviously a horse.

    laser projection create galloping horse movie on the clouds.


  2. Looks like a lot of smallish pregnant (not too wild) mares and wet mares. I doubt any American wild horses would be as docile under such bizarre human predatory entertainment practices, and the hospital bills would be staggering!


  3. This is humiliating to these animals, cutting their mane and tails off is an attempt to demoralize the animals sense of their being in control….of themselves! I do not see anything entertaining in this show of human abusiveness to animals, they are wrong in assuming that this is not abusive. What if it was done to their children? or how about they do that to one another, wrestle each other down and cut off their hair and their balls, because obviously they don’t have any anyway. I fail to understand the enjoyment of terrorizing and maiming these horses this way; neanderthal behavior just proves that humans have not evolved into an animal that can co- inhabit the earth with others.


  4. This is an older article, but it’s probable that people in official positions can still be contacted.

    A Rapa das Bestas
    terrorizing and torturing for fun


    Dear Gentleman & Ladies,

    I am writing you from America to express my dismay over the inhumane treatment of wild horses during the festival called Rapas Das Bestas in Sabucedo and other towns in Spain.

    Before you make light of my concerns, please remember this: I am a potential tourist of your country. I am a lifelong horsewoman, and I have many many friends who are horsemen and horsewomen who are also potential tourists of your country. By looking the other way when it comes to the welfare of your wild horses, you may be ignoring a potential detriment to the success of your tourism industry and who knows, perhaps your economy – because why should I care to purchase Spanish products such as wine if I know that my money might go to people who support Rapas Das Bestas.

    I realize that the Rapas Das Bestas is a four hundred year old tradition, but surely you can see that the practice has outlived it’s necessity and that creating a spectacle through cruelty to horses, who are sentient beings, is neither civilized nor attractive to tourists. The shearing of manes and tails during the summer months when flies are at their most bothersome to horses has no logical basis whatsoever. Wrestling horses that are frightened and untame risks injury to the animals, not to mention the human participants, although the humans have a choice as to whether to participate or not. I would be more inclined to visit your country to see your wild horses in wild places that are being preserved for the future. As a horsewoman who has worked all her life to understand horses, I am befuddled by the goal of this practice of Shearing of the Beasts — nothing is being gained by this event, except bruised men and terrified horses. There is nothing beautiful or poetic about it — Spain’s horses are known around the world for their beauty and regal stature – your citizens reduce the great wild Spanish horses to something very sad and pathetic in this festival, and that reflects upon the men and women who participate; these are not people I admire or desire to spend money to immerse myself in their culture.

    I will go anywhere in the world where horses are, but until Spain reconsiders the tradition of Rapas Das Bestas, it will remain off my list of places to travel to.


  5. Spain has been one of the few countries I have not visited because of their tolerance of helpless animal abuse No Thanks Spain


  6. Well yes…..Nothing will make you feel more manly than terrifying an already terrified animal with your “manly”, macho games. Nothing is more sporting and conducive to shooting testosterone out of every orifice of your body, than overpowering an animal meant to run free, but used instead for entertainment for people who obviously have little to no compassion or human-like qualities. Sickening.


  7. S I C K of these idiots!! What the pluckk is their problem. Macho complex and bored? Leave the animals, children and Mother Earth alone. Is it possible that castration might be the answer for all of these animal abusers, etc???
    Maybe we should give it a try, including the BLM asses and the helicopter pilot.
    It can’t hurt.


  8. A lot of cruelty passes under the guise of “tradition” — no matter where. I have no use for these people and loudly boycotting them is in order. As much as PETA goes overboard, hopefully they can make some difference.


  9. A preacher stated animals are ONLY beasts of burden meant to serve man. The God whispered the Only Burden placed on my Animals is that the true Beast is the hatred of them by some men. Another preacher said they are lowly and know nothing animals are conquered by man. God replied they are kind enough to go into submission and bow to mans demands and the only thing lowly now is your attitude against my innocent My innocent animals. So the first preacher shouted at God but they have no souls and cannot say your name aloud so they cannot get into Heaven. The men gloated and watched as God began closing the Gates to Heaven. One preacher says to the other well…see they are simply animals and now we are ready to accept the Rewards for man. God patted each on the back and looked into the Gates at all of Histories Animals then he said Well Fellas you have a Nice Eternity. He then appeared on the other side of the Gates with the animals….this is Heaven with All My animals within at least they had enough soul to carry Your burdens…love you and submit with kindness and they have earned their home in Heaven with me. Oh yeah…and the tree huggers and crazy animal people are here too. Things are just groovy!


    • The time will come when humans such as I will look upon the murder of animals as they now look on the murder of men.” – Leonardo da Vinci

      “If a group of beings from another planet were to land on Earth – beings who considered themselves as superior to you as you feel yourself to be to other animals – would you concede them the rights over you that you assume over other animals?” – George Bernard Shaw

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Has anyone watched the new series “ZOO” ? Doesn’t seem all that far-fetched to me that animals finally have had ENOUGH!


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